Tiddalick is a character in Australian Aborigine mythology. He is responsible for the great flood and for all the rivers and lakes in Australia.
In the Northern Territory, there are frogs which can survive great amounts of time without drinking. During this time, the frogs bury themselves until the rains come. The thirsty Aborigines would dig up the frogs and drink the water stored in them.
It is said these frogs are descendants of Tiddalick. No-one knows how big he was, or how much the earth moved when he walked. But people did know that one day Tiddalick was thirsty. He drank all the water in the nearby rivers, then travelled around to the lakes and billabongs. He drained them as well, until there was no water left in all of the land.
The people and other animals gathered in great distress. They were dying of thirst, as the greedy Tiddalick had drunk all the water. Tiddalick was so full of water he couldn't move, and there was no sign of rain.
The people and animals couldn't think of what to do. Boomerangs and spears wouldn't help them at all, as Tiddalick was so big and strong. Then Goorgourgahgah the Kookaburra said, "If we make him laugh, he will have to hold his sides and the water will pour out of his mouth".
The animals and people agreed with this plan. The Kangaroo told the Kookaburra to try first, as the Kookaburra was the best laugher in the bush.
Goorgourgahgah sat next to Tiddalick and laughed in his ear. He chattered incessantly and tried to make Tiddalick laugh, but the great frog moved his head deliberately and looked at the Kookaburra, not even smiling as his big, wet, round eyes looked at the animals.
All the animals danced and turned in circles, the people told funny stories, but nothing helped. The animals and people just got thirsty as Tiddalick sat unlaughing.
Finally Noyang the Eel had his turn. He was their last chance. He turned himself in a loop, wriggled and rolled, and stood up and danced on his tail like Wurrawilberoo the Whirlwind.
A tiny smile crept across Tiddalick's face and a river of water fell out of his mouth. People and animals ran aross to drink from the water falling from Tiddalick's mouth, gulping it down before it even hit the ground. Noyang kept spinning until he could barely be seen.
Tiddalick started to chuckle, and rumbles came up from his belly. Water slopped out of his mouth, and he kept laughing. He held his hands to his sides, and rocked backwards and forwards. His mouth opened wide and a great gush of water came rushing out. It drowned the people and animals waiting around Tiddalick, until he was a poor shrunken little frog in the middle of a huge shining lake of water spread out all over the land.